Archive for March 28, 2017

Welle Smart Device Turns any Surface Into A “Smart” Surface

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 28, 2017 by itnerd

Welcome to the modern world of controlling devices. Welle (pronounced vell-uh) is a smart device that instantly turns any surface into a “smart” interface using Sonar Technology through hand gestures. Welle gives you the ability to use unlimited simple gestures to control your favorite Internet of Things (IoT) devices, appliances, and apps – so powerful it even tracks your finger movements and recognizes handwriting. With Welle, the entire surface becomes connected to Sonar, allowing you to use hand gestures to control all your smart devices, such as lights, TVs, speakers, doors, thermostats, cameras, curtain/blinds, fans; and even PowerPoint presentations, apps, and IFTTT (If this, then that) conditional task applets, and more. Welle is launching today on Kickstarter at:

Uses Most Advanced Sonar-based Gesture Control to Connect to All Kinds of IoT Devices & Appliances – Mounts on Wall

Welle works in the home, office, or anywhere with a Bluetooth connection. Simply place the tiny Welle on any convenient surface or location, or mount Welle on a wall with the included 3M stickers. Working as a universal remote for all kinds of IoT devices and appliances, Welle uses the most advanced Sonar-based gesture control, replacing the multiple traditional household remote controls for a convenient and enjoyable connected home and office experience. Welle recognizes standardized gestures and also lets you assign your own gestures or handwriting short-cuts to interact with devices everywhere in your life.

Creates Custom Gestures, Tracking, & Even Recognizes Handwriting

Welle means “wave” in German and Welle’s logo shows two fingers tracking human gestures with ultrasonic waves. Welle uses Sonar Technology, advanced ultrasonic signals used in the military, automotive and drone markets, that can accurately track human movements. Welle’s Sonar Technology transmits signal pulses and collects the reflected energy back from targets, identifying motions, gestures, and finger movements from the echoed signals. These echoes are translated into different instructions and words to IoT devices using an advanced hardware design and software algorithms. The Welle Sonar Technology tracks your fingers when you touch a surface and can even recognize handwriting motions, transforming them into customized actions. Conventional gesture detectors, such as those used in smartphones, only provide single gesture readings. In contrast, Welle provides rich information, such as trajectory data and digitized gestures, enabling a wide variety of control functions for everyday convenience.

Welle Controls Any Device, Anywhere Instantly:
• Thermostats
• Coffee makers
• Lights
• Windows shades/curtains
• TVs
• Doors
• Speakers
• Locks
• Humidifiers
• Fans/air conditioners
• Outlets
• Garage doors
• Robot arms
• PowerPoint presentations
• Creates custom gestures
• Assigns short-cuts throughout handwriting recognition or gestures (i.e. “C” for “make coffee”)
• Changes volume and tracks when listening to music
• Connects with IFTTT
• Tiny size, weighing just 3.5 ounces, with measurements of 2.97” x 1.38” x 0.64”

Open API Now Available for Software & Hardware Developers

Welle provides an open API (Application Programming Interface) for software and hardware developers to redefine gestures, creating infinite possibilities for controlling devices and apps. Welle features a well-designed API, readable documents, example codes, and a developer community with full support. For moreinformation on the Welle API, see: or email:

Tiny, Small Enough to Bring on the Road to Meetings, Hotels, & Coffee Shops –
Pricing & Availability

Welle is tiny, smaller than a smartphone at less than 3 inches long, weighing just 3.5 ounces, lightweight and small enough to bring on the road to meetings, hotels, coffee shops, and anywhere else you go. Easy to install in just a few minutes with Welle’s app for Android and iOS users, users can setup Bluetooth connections between Welle and the target devices quickly by following the steps on the Welle app. Available October 2017, Welle will be priced at $99, with early-bird Kickstarter pricing of $59 for a limited time. For more information, see Kickstarter: or


Here’s Some Little-Known Hacks Within Waze

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 28, 2017 by itnerd

With hundreds of thousands of users, Waze is far-and-away Canada’s most popular driving and navigation app.

While the majority of Wazers enjoy the app’s main function – navigation from point A to point B via the best route – there are other features currently under-utilized but that can improve the daily lives of drivers. Below you will find a list of features that make the Waze experience more user-friendly.

Planned Drives + Waze Calendar

Waze can connect with your iPhone, Android or Google calendar to send you a push notification reminder to let you know what time to leave based on real-time traffic conditions. Simply open the Menu => Planned drives => add a drive => search for your destination and select the time and date you need to arrive by and then hit Save. To sync this feature with your calendar, simply open Menu => Planned drives => Sync Calendar events.


Waze can help you find parking before you leave for your destination. Once you’ve planned a drive, simply tap the three dots beside the destination and select Find parking. Parking lots near your destination will appear.


The Waze app is all about empowering the driving community to connect with one another, while keeping safety as the top priority. Sharing ETAs with other Wazers prevents drivers from being tempted to use their smartphone to text while driving. To share your ETA with friends, simply tap the three dots beside your destination before you start driving. You will need to sync Waze to your mobile number via a text verification, and allow the app to access your contacts. Once setup, you can simply select “send” by tapping the three dots beside your destination and choosing who from your contact list you want to share your ETA with. They will automatically receive a text message with your estimated arrival time, eliminating the temptation to text and drive when unexpected delays hit.

Display & map

Waze takes a lot of pride in its cool turquoise branding, but recognizes that that colour scheme isn’t friendly to all eyes at all times of day. By selecting Display & map under Settings, Wazers can choose if they wish to view the map in day mode or night mode, and can select whether or not to display the map editors under “Map color scheme”.


Under Settings => Voice directions, Wazers can choose whose voice they would like to narrate the directions of their drive. Waze also currently offers voice directions in over 20 languages in addition to English. Wazers can also enjoy limited edition celebrity voices. Most recently, Dateline NBC’s Keith Morrison was added to the list of options available to drivers for a limited time.

Child Reminders

It is an unfortunate reality that children are occasionally left in the back of cars, Waze has responded to this issue by releasing Child Reminders. To access this feature, simply open Settings => General => Child reminder and select “Allow reminders.” You can also customize the message by selecting “Custom message.” This feature can be used to remind you to collect your kid, your pet, or your even your backpack from the back seat.

250,000 Canadian e-learners On Alison

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 28, 2017 by itnerd

Alison, one of the world’s largest providers of free online courses, announced today that it crossed the 250,000-learner milestone in Canada. According to data released by Alison today, the most popular courses for Canadians revolve around workplace skills including project management, human resources, food safety and mental health.

The site has grown a significant following throughout Canada, but is most popular in Ontario where 46% of the site’s Canadian users are based, followed by Alberta and British Columbia. Around 52.9% of learners are female, reflecting a trend seen in many countries where women are adopting e-learning at a higher rate than their male counterparts. Alison hosts more than 750 courses online at no charge to the user, and adds new courses each week.

Top 10 most popular courses in Canada

  1. Diploma in Project Management
  2. Diploma in Human Resources
  3. Diploma in Food Safety
  4. Diploma in Nursing and Patient Care
  5. Diploma in Mental Health Studeis
  6. Diploma in Psychology
  7. Diploma in Customer Service
  8. Diploma in Social Work Studies
  9. Diploma in Workplace Safety and Health
  10. Diploma in Operations Management

Alison is one of the world’s largest free online learning platforms for workplace skills, providing free education and skills training to 10 million learners worldwide with over one million graduates. Alison is a for-profit social enterprise with a goal to drive the cost of all education and skills training to zero. Find out more at

One Good Reason To Install iOS 10.3…. Encryption

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 28, 2017 by itnerd

Apple released iOS 10.3 to the world yesterday. And in the process of doing so Apple is likely going to put itself in the crosshairs of governments and law enforcement types. I say that because iOS 10.3 brings a new feature to the table which is the Apple File System or APFS for short. Now the official party line from Apple is that Apple File System replaces the HFS+ file system that has been around for around three decades. You see HFS+ was designed when storage meant a couple of floppy disks as opposed to 128GB inside your iPhone. That means that by using HFS+, you’re leaving a lot of performance on the table. That changes as of iOS 10.3.

But the big change is the fact that Apple has really upped its encryption game. You see Apple themselves describes the encryption that is part of APFS as “strong full-disk encryption” for both files and metadata with optional “Multi-key encryption with per-file keys for file data and a separate key for sensitive metadata”. In English, that means that if someone wants to crack open your phone to get at your data, it’s likely not going to happen because there are multiple layers to the encryption. Thus if you’re law enforcement or government, you’re going to be really pissed right about now because there is less of a chance that an iPhone from a bad guy is going to give up its contents to you. Expect these two groups to get very vocal about how upset they are about iOS 10.3 shortly. To add to the fun, APFS is also coming to Apple’s computer lineup later this year. Presumably when Apple has had a chance to test all the possible combinations of storage configurations that APFS would have to deal with. When that happens, those cries from law enforcement and government will get louder. But for users who care about privacy, this is good news for them.